University police investigate officer’s use of weapon

By Dan Howell

A University Police Officer is back on the job after being placed on paid leave. The officer was put on leave Monday because he fired his gun at an alleged robber in Urbana early that morning.

University Assistant Chief of Police Jeff Christensen says a team is still investigating the use of the weapon.

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“The Serious Use of Force Team is investigating it and they will do an objective investigation and their doing that right now, but as a matter of protocol we’ll wait until they’ve completed the investigation until we comment on it,” Christensen said.

No further action or disciplining will be done until after the investigation is complete. The Serious Use of Force Team is looking at whether the officer used the correct force in this particular altercation.

Christensen explained the guidelines the police follow.

“We have different levels of force and the use of a firearm would be a level five force which is the top level of force. And by policy and state law you would use a firearm in defense of life or immenent death or great bodily harm to somebody else or yourself,” Christensen said.

The Serious Use of Force team is comprised of detectives from other area police departments.